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Encyclopedia > The Roulin Family
Joseph Roulin, 1841-1903 (The Postmaster)
Vincent van Gogh, 1888
Oil on canvas, 81.2 × 65.3 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Main article: Vincent van Gogh

The Roulin Family is group of portraits Vincent van Gogh executed in Arles in 1888 and 1889. Self-portrait (1887) Vincent Willem van Gogh (IPA:) (March 30, 1853, Zundert–July 29, 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise) was a Dutch painter, classified as a Post-Impressionist. ... Paul Gauguin, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (Doù venons-nous? Que faisons-nous? Où allons-nous?) (1897). ... Self-portrait (1887) Vincent Willem van Gogh (IPA:) (March 30, 1853, Zundert–July 29, 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise) was a Dutch painter, classified as a Post-Impressionist. ...


Joseph Roulin was born April 4, 1841 in Lambesc, about 60 km east of Arles, and died in September 1903 in Marseille. August 31, 1868 he married Augustine-Alex Pellicot, born October 9 1851 like her husband in Lambesc, and died April 5, 1930. April 4 is the 94th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (95th in leap years). ... 1841 is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1903 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... August 31 is the 243rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (244th in leap years), with 122 days remaining. ... 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... October 9 is the 282nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (283rd in leap years). ... April 5 is the 95th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (96th in leap years). ... 1930 (MCMXXX) is a common year starting on Wednesday. ...


The Roulins had three children: Armand Roulin, the eldest son, was born May 5, 1871 in Lambesc, and died November 24, 1945; 17 years of age, when portrayed by Van Gogh, he then worked in Lambesc. Camille Roulin, too, was born im Lambesc, July 10, 1877, and died June 4, 1922; when his father had to answer to letters, he served as his secretary.[1] Marcelle Roulin was born July 31, 1888, and four months old, when Van Gogh did her portraits. [2] May 5 is the 125th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (126th in leap years). ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... November 24 is the 328th day (329th on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ... July 10 is the 191st day (192nd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 174 days remaining. ... 1877 (MDCCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... June 4 is the 155th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (156th in leap years), with 210 days remaining. ... 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... July 31 is the 212th day (213th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 153 days remaining. ... 1888 (MDCCCLXXXVIII) is a leap year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. ...


The Roulin family was of a similar size to Vincent's own family; Lubin[3] suggests that Vincent may have adopted them as a substitute family.

Contents


August 1888

Van Gogh was deeply moved by the way Roulin had welcomed his new-born daughter. He sat down drinking with him, and later he started a portrait of Roulin. But he was not sure on the merits of the first version, so he did a second one, now concentrating on the head.


November/December 1888

In the very first days of December 1888 Vincent told his brother Theo:

I have made portraits of a whole family, that of the postman whose head I had done previously - the man, his wife, the baby, the young boy, and the son of sixteen, all of them real characters and very French, though they look like Russians. Size 15 canvases. You know how I feel about this, how I feel in my element, and that it consoles me up to a certain point for not being a doctor. I hope to get on with this and to be able to get more careful posing, paid for by portraits. And if I manage to do this whole family better still, at least I shall have done something to my liking and something individual. Just now I am completely swamped with studies, studies, studies, and this will go on for quite a while - it makes such a mess that it breaks my heart, and yet it will provide me with some property when I'm forty.[4]

The size given (toile de 15, c. 65 x 54 cm), the complete set can be identified:

In this set colour supplies meaning.


December 1888 and later

  • Armand, Camille, and Marcelle Roulin
  • Augustine Roulin, La Berceuse
  • Joseph Roulin

Notes

  1. ^ Letter xxx
  2. ^ Letter xxx
  3. ^ Lubin, Stranger on the earth: A psychological biography of Vincent van Gogh, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1972. ISBN 0030913527, page 162.
  4. ^ Letter 560; emphasis (underlining) by Van Gogh himself
Vincent van Gogh
General: The Artist | Chronology | Medical condition | Posthumous fame
Display at Les XX, 1890 | The Roulin Family | Paul Gachet | Paul Gauguin
Post-Impressionism | Theo van Gogh | Van Gogh Museum
Paintings: List of works | Self-Portraits | Sunflowers | The Potato Eaters
Bedroom in Arles | The Red Vineyard | The Night Café | The Yellow House
The Starry Night | Irises | The Church at Auvers | Wheat Field with Crows
Cafe Terrace at Night | Portrait of Dr. Gachet | Thatched Cottages by a Hill

 
 

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